Monday, September 1, 2008

What A Boy Needs...

Toby woke up in the middle of the night one night last week, and he asked me to go lie down with him in his bed for a while so I did. I loved lying there, the two of us facing each other, his arm tightly clinging to my neck, with me smelling his smell and feeling his breath on my face.

Several times, I thought he'd drifted back to sleep so I started to get up, but then he'd say, "I'm scared" or "Just one more minute, Mommy?" So I stayed and cuddled and kissed him some more. After about half an hour of this, he said it was okay for me to go and released his arm from my neck. He had just needed me to be there for him until he felt safe and comfortable again.

Then I started wondering... what does a boy need from his mommy growing up? Are they different things from what a girl needs?

So you guys out there... I could use some tips. What did you get from your moms growing up that you found helpful? What advice, support, presence did you get from your mothers that you would recommend for me and Toby? Give me some practical tips, some views I can use.


Marge said...

This from the always-wise and always-loving Jeff to you and to Toby:

"When I was young my mom was working two jobs and putting herself through school. So she couldn't always be present for me. But she passed on the things that she loved most to me - she loved music, and that's been very important in my life. And she passed on the importance of love for my sisters and grandparents. Even though we were not the most loving family, we were very aware of how important we were to each other.
But maybe the biggest lesson from mom to me and my sisters was don't take crap from anybody, ever - always stand up for yourself."

Hope this helps.
Love you,

Leighbee said...

I think this one is a difficult one for ANYONE to answer purely because All people are different regardless of their son for instance is VERY sensitive and needs information given to in an honest but "padded" way compared to my girls who want to know the cut and dry facts with "no messing"! I would imagine this to be an "unusual" situation but knowing Toby like I do I think he may be a little like my son and require a "gentle" approach? (However, as we ALL know, kids change radically and what we see in him now may not be the "little man" of the future?!) In my experience boys like to learn from their own experiences where as girls like to be warned of any potential dangers etc before they go ahead with whatever task is in hand (I also have noted that whilst they like to have this information they rearely use it!) I think boys LOVE hugs and cuddles more than they let on and so the lead has to come from their peers - my son would rarely ask for a hug though laps up every opportunity to get one! I don't think hugs will EVER be an issue for your darlings as both of them appear to be MADE completely from hugs and love in any other form you care to imagine?! I have NBVER encountered such loving children and that is a HUGE credit to you both. This quality can only be fostered in a completely loving environment with no boundaries.....few of us can out our hands up to this - I for one certainly can't! Perhaps it was the cancer that made you want to share a life time of love in just a short period of time? Perhaps its just the people you are? Either way - its VERY special....
I deviate...apologies! Boys......I think in this instance for warned is not for I said earlier no two children are the same so it is difficult to establish what needs Toby will have...especially as his situation like my sons is likely to be "unique" through the "pains" encountered early in life..... He will lead will all know what to do and say when its time to do in any parenting - there are no hand books so we have to tailor make the answers according to the situation/timing/person we are dealing with.

Sorry I haven't been of much help....!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have three sons. All three are different. I am sure you have heard of the 5 love languages of children? Well, each of my boys who are now 21, 19 and 17 have different love languages. It has always been our plan that I be the caregiver for our children (no maids - not even for house work - I did it all), I stopped work from the time my first son was born till the youngest went into Primary 1. Hence I could identify their love language and love accordingly.
You are doing a great job - take care and keep it up - you have lots of people rooting for you - btw, have you got your henna yet? - I can imagine you will have a house load of it by now. I'll get it for you - if you are still waiting.

Peter said...


To know you are loved unconditionally by someone you yourself have enormous love and respect is a pretty remarkable thing. Kind of like Cyrano's "love that does not seek its own". I think Toby is lucky to have you as his mother.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shin

I asked Max what he thought the best thing was that I could give him and he said "playing with me". So easy. Well, all kids are different...
Lots of love


Shin said...


I remember that wild and crazy birthday party you had for Max when you were in Singapore - his 4th I think. There were so many kids, so much chaos. You looked so harried and stressed.

But after the party, you told me something that I've never forgotten. You told me that Max came up to you during the party and said, "Mommy, this is a wonderful party. Thank you so much!" And that made all the stress, noise, and mess worth it.

This is one of the best lessons I've had in being a parent and it came from Max when he was only four years old. I will never forget that we can bring joyful memories to our kids, and that, in turn, is what makes everything else worth the trouble.